By Maureen Daniels – March 2023
Here’s what our members/neighbors, said in our LACA survey:
Top three priorities:
1. 99% Water Quality and Testing
2. 95% Boating Safety and Emergency Services
3. 90% Wakes, Erosion, Safety, Setbacks
As Chair of Safety and Emergency Services, I will focus on feedback specific to that.
In 2019, the question focused on 100/200 foot setbacks. 82% favored setbacks (200 for wake surfers and 100 for all other towed sports)
In 2021, other options were presented which decreased specific support for setbacks:
Limit wake surfing to wide portions of the Lake— 63%
100/200 foot Setbacks—58.4%
Allow additional No Wake Surfing Zones—58.4%
Q12 Adverse Impact of Waves Caused by Wake Surfing Boats
Experienced an injury from wake surfing boat—4.5%
Damage to docks, seawall, rip rap—24.5%
Property erosion caused by large waves from WS boats—37%
No adverse effects from WS boats—42%
“Other” section elicited 97 comments from people sharing their negative experiences with wake surfing waves/boats.
Among the 97 comments made by boaters were descriptions of how large waves/wakes/speed affected them:
gazebo supports eroding; don’t ski or tow on weekends; spent thousands of dollars on erosion control measures; swamped by jet skier doing donuts; annoying wakes from wake board boats when floating, paddle boarding, fishing; knocked off fishing boat into dock by wake surfing boat; swamped by wake surf boat passing less than 50 feet; thrown off standard skis; creates dangerous conditions for kayaks, canoes, fishing; large waves impact my ability to safely pull water skiers; bothered by wake surfing while on the water and also waves hitting our seawall; swamped kayaks; damaged bulkhead; slammed by waves; coming too close to other vessels; increase in erosion; swamped causing pontoon to submarine; skiers, wakeboarder, and tubers endangered by large wake surfing wakes; stressed due to trying to safely dock with 4 foot waves pushing the boat; waves coming over pontoon boat; swamped jon boat; have to vacate certain areas due to wake surf waves; almost knocked off boat, almost fell off boat, fallen off paddle board; kayak swamped; hard to control water craft; waves crashing over dock; unable to slalom ski; dislodged jet ski floating docks; experienced concerns about my safety; lost 3 feet of land due to erosion; installed 31 tons of Gabion stone to stop erosion; small children floating off my dock are often affected by swells.
Other comments: on private side, wake surfing should only be at the dikes in areas 200 feet wide and 300 feet long; leading and biased questions; rip rap should be used instead of seawalls; should limit on private side too; limits are unfair to wake surfers, shoreline damage is mitigated with bulkheads; clamp on jet ski platform was knocked off; monitor this but we should NOT ban wake surfing, people should be forced to protect their land with rip rap or others; wake surfers have so much fun with no liability for property damage.
How can LACA help to achieve fair use of shared space and respect for the notion that one person’s right to enjoy their favorite sport should not interfere with another person’s right to do the same?
Our survey reflects your thoughts and provides guidance for LACA. We hear you:
63% think wake surfing should be limited to wide parts of the Lake
58.4% believe there should be 200 foot setbacks for wake surfing and 100 foot setbacks for towed sports.
58.4% think there should be additional No Wake Surfing Zones in narrow sections of the Lake.
15.3% support banning wake surfing and only 6% think LACA should not take any further action.
As Chair of Safety and Emergency Services, I value your opinions. Thank you! Your responses will help shape our actions going forward.
We continue to work closely with all first responders on Lake Anna which includes law enforcement, fire and rescue, and 911 Communications Directors from Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties, Conservation Police from Department of Wildlife Resources, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. We are committed to making our Lake safe for all its users.